If teachers were coached by professional voice instructors to improve their voices and public speaking, would their students get higher marks?

voice-styling.jpgI just read an article online at Timesonline.co.uk that suggested teachers need to brush up on their vocal skills in order to enlighten the bright minds of tomorrow. The article suggests that if instructors would become part actor, their student audiences would be more in tune with the teachings and register more of their lessons as both useful and entertaining. In other words, the Times is saying that a number of students’ grades (and interest levels) may be suffering because of monotonous instructors.

While this may be news to some readers, there has been a movement within the voice industry called “Voice Styling”, a service that is meant to help teachers, or anyone for that matter, improve their public speaking techniques and take proper care of their voice, preventing overuse while building confidence and a more engaging sound. Want to know more voice styling and how it could apply to you?

Consider the following:
What do you do if you want your hair to have a new look? You go to a professional hair stylist. Who do you call if you want to improve your golf swing? You enlist the help of a golf professional. In the same vein, if you wanted to aesthetically improve your voice and manner of speaking, you would consult a voice stylist.

Who is a voice stylist?
A voice stylist could be a voice-over instructor, a singing teacher, a public speaker, a drama instructor, a speech pathologist, and so on. Last August (2005), there was a news item about voice styling mentioned on our podcast, inspired by an article in the New York Times. In the podcast, I referred to the service as “voice makeovers”.

Here’s a quote from the podcast:
“As society strives for personal improvement and perfection, a new market has opened up to voice-over coaches. Individuals dissatisfied with their vocal abilities for employment reasons and otherwise have been seeking consultation and instruction from leading voice-over instructors including Carol Fleming of San Francisco, Susan Miller of Washington, and Susan Berkley, author of Speak to Influence, based in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. This new instruction is often referred to as “voice styling” by voice coaches and speech pathologists.

“The cost of coaching ranges from $100 to $225 a session, and instructor Susan Miller indicates that a typical voice makeover costs roughly $1000.” Although the term voice stylist isn’t very common, certainly not a household word, there are many qualified professionals in the field who can help you reach your public speaking and aesthetic voice styling goals.
Do you know of a voice stylist who you could refer?
Looking forward to reply,

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Stephanie Ciccarelli is the Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer of Voices.com. Classically trained in voice, piano, violin and musical theatre, as well as a respected mentor and industry speaker, Stephanie graduated with a Bachelor of Musical Arts from the Don Wright Faculty of Music at the University of Western Ontario. Possessing a great love for imparting knowledge and empowering others, her podcast Sound Stories serves an audience that wants to achieve excellence in storytelling. Stephanie is found on the PROFIT Magazine W100 list three times (2013, 2015 and 2016), a ranking of Canada's top female entrepreneurs, and is the author of Voice Acting for Dummies®.


  1. I think the term “voice styling” is sort of a misnomer. When you think of a style, you think of copying something or someone else. Susan Berkley is my coach, and she encourages us to bring our authentic selves to every read. We each have unique voices and viewpoints. The key in finding and appreciating your signature style is to *value* your experiences and attributes, rather than trying to sound like someone else.

  2. Hi Karen,
    Those are very good points. I think the article was trying to convey that ordinary people like teachers, CEOs, etc. can seek help to develop their speaking abilities to better serve those who they govern.
    I agree, it should not be the goal to style a voice using someone else’s as a template, rather to style or build upon the natural elements (or foundation) that the person already possesses.
    Styling as a term used for these purposes is about improving a sound, not copying that of another person.
    Thank you for your comment 🙂

  3. I couldn’t agree more! I’m a trainer, specialising in voice & presentation skills in the UK and I’d go so far as to say that, except for a very small minority, the best ‘style’ for your voice is your own personal one.
    That’s the only way to be authentic and pupils will smell a lack of authenticity at five miles distances! 🙂
    Moreover, not using your voice correctly is damaging and dangerous – another obvious reason for “doing it your way”! I’d never train anyone in anything other than their own, personal, authentic voice.


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